Despite its turbulent history and powerful neighbors, Georgia managed to unite itself into a strong kingdom by the XII century. David the Builder (1089-1125) was Georgia’s most prominent king, and almost single-handedly initiated the country’s Golden Age.
His war against the Turks fortuitously coincided with the Crusades. He was able to stop paying tribute in 1096 and defeated the Turks completely in 1121.
Human treatment of Muslims during this period set a standard for tolerance that was unique in those times and was a hallmark of his enlightened rule. Using his military acumen David was able to vastly expand his Kingdom into modern day Armenia and eastward toward the Caspian Sea.